Criminal justice agencies must 'explain or reform'

Tuesday, 12 September, 2017

Our Director, Richard Garside, is one of 22 signatories to a letter in today's Guardian newspaper calling on criminal justice agencies to reform if they cannot explain racial disparities. One of our trustees – Patrick Williams of Manchester Metropolitan University – is also among the signatories.

It will take 'more than simple policy change', the letter states, 'to tackle the racial discrimination that defines – and shames – our criminal justice system'. The letter calls on the government 'to fully support Lammy’s recommendations and seize this opportunity to create a criminal justice system which delivers value, fairness and effectiveness for us all.'

In other letters, The Big Issue founder, John Bird, recalls his time in prison. Until 'we move to prevention, and until we begin to dismantle poverty,' he writes, 'we will have overcrowded prisons'.

'Experience shows that the issues to be tackled are about much more than organisation, process and management', writes former Home Office civil servant, David Faulkner. 'They are about the kind of people we are and the kind of country we want to live in... and they deserve much more than a conventionally bland or complacent response'.